Proof is in the numbers

Criticism of health care reform — most of it tainted by political posturing — took a hit this past week with the release of figures showing that almost 30 percent of Jackson County residents are now on the Oregon Health Plan. Combine that with reports that emergency room visits, and costs, are down and you have the recipe for a winning formula.

But don't try to tell health care reform's critics that. They'll pour out the usual drivel about Americans losing their rights to choose their own medical care, cite problems with the new system's computer and generally suggest this is a train that has run off the tracks.

Tell that to a working poor family that now has access to the kind of medical care that some apparently would reserve only for those who can afford to pay the ridiculously high prices. Tell that to students and young adults who now can remain on their parents' insurance until they get their careers on more solid footing. Tell that to people with serious existing illnesses who previously were at risk of being rejected for insurance.

When the critics say health care reform isn't working, don't engage in a philosophical argument. Show them the facts.

And the facts are that in the past eight months, 24,000 residents of Jackson County have signed up for affordable health care. That puts the total number of low-income county residents on the Oregon Health Plan at 62,000.

The facts are plain to see: 62,000 Jackson County resident are getting health care, which should be as much a fundamental right in this nation as breathing clean air and drinking clean water. The numbers don't lie.

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